The Federal Government has started moves to curb illegal mining of the country’s resources which has led to a loss of $9bn between 2014 and 2015.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, mentioned this to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on wednesday.
The meeting was held at the Conference Room of the Office of the First Lady away from the usual venue, the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Fayemi said the $9bn loss in the sector was contained in a recent report prepared by the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative.
He explained that the loss was recorded mainly from the illegal export of gold, lead, tin and coal.
The minister said the FEC had therefore approved N987m for the purchase of 50 Toyota Hillux which costs over N19m each.
He said the vehicles would be used for monitoring and curbing illegal mining in the 36 states and Abuja.
“The approval was sequel to the realisation that the deployment of one vehicle per state could not make significant impact in monitoring illegal mining,” Fayemi said.
According to him, the council also approved the constitution of Special Mining Surveillance Task Force with the mandate to monitor and curb illegal mining across the country.